Sioux Falls, SD – The Miami HEAT and Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today the hiring of Octavio De La Grana and Corey Belser as assistant coaches on head coach Dan Craig’s staff. The teams also announced Justin Van Kooten will be returning as Director of Basketball Operations.
De La Grana returns for his third season with the Skyforce and second as Director of Minor League Operations/Player Development Coach. He originally joined the HEAT organization before the 2006-07 season and served as Player Development Coach/Advance Scout for five seasons. Prior to joining the HEAT, De La Grana had a combined 18 years of head coaching experience at the high school level, including two stints at Florida Christian High School, where he led his team to the Class 2A State Championship in 1996, a season in which he garnered Coach of the Year honors.
Belser returns for his second season with the Skyforce, which finished with their first Central Division title in 2014-15. Prior to joining Sioux Falls, he previously served as a Video Intern for the HEAT during the 2013-14 season and held the same position with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2012-13 season. Belser, the 2006 West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, graduated from the University of San Diego and played for both the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers NBA Summer League teams and spent time playing professionally overseas in Greece, Ukraine, Finland and France.
Van Kooten will be returning for his fourth season with the Skyforce and third as Director of Basketball Operations after serving as Basketball Operations Assistant in 2012-13. He served as Head and Assistant Coach for the Southwest Minnesota Stars AAU basketball program and also assisted with the Roosevelt High School basketball program in the summers of 2011 and 2012. He was also an Assistant Varsity and Head Junior Varsity Coach at Baltic High School during the 2011-12 season.
An introductory press conference will be held for Craig in the Sanford Pentagon on Friday, October 9 at 3:00 p.m.